The People's Popular Glasgow Gaming Group - Geekbuddy Analysis
Michael R
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Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Here is an analysis using just the members who are regulars. It only includes games with at least two ratings.

You can visit the group's webpage at http://www.primordialgroup.com/
If you'd like to join, post a message on our guild page: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/453

Updated: 21st July 2008
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1. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:127]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 1
Average Rating: 9.37

Michael: 10
It's Wallenstein with a new map and bidding for turn order (and a special bonus) instead of the random draw. I can see myself buying this to replace the German cards, although the replacements are in the ever popular crytic heiroglyphs. The new artwork is nice.

Ian: 9.1
It's Big it's Bold and it has a sexy Dice Tower. Resource Managment and Area Control gone mad, one of the best games going no doubt.

David: 9
An excellent game. Very pretty to look at and effective mechanics. I stand firmly in favour of the cube tower... It very intuitive, and i think much fairer than just rolling dice.
Its a shame that i'm so rubbish at the game itself!
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2. Board Game: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:952] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Michael R
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Rank: 2
Average Rating: 9.00

David: 10
The most perfectly balanced CCG there is!

Michael: 8
I am just starting with this CCG. It plays so very differently to any other game I have ever played that it is taking quite a while to get used to.
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3. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
Michael R
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Rank: 3
Average Rating: 8.76

Ian: 9.1
The kind of game which causes your fiance to claim she neither understands nor cares to understand the complexities, only to find some 90 minutes later that she is winning by a huge margin ....... only to find some 3 days later that she had been abusing her privelages and should not have won at all. Makes for great dinner time chat ..... A Fabulous Game.

Michael: 9
First play and yeah I can see what all the hype is about. Placing the workers gives you 20-30 different options each turn, way more than I've seen in other games. You need to work out what you want to do each turn and work out the order to do things in because other players want to do the same things and will block you. I definately see the similarity to Keythedral. Our 5 player game took 2 hours. Three of my opponents had played before and destroyed us beginners. Interestingly they were all playing quite different strategies.

Ivan: 9
Very good. Don't listen to the detractors.

Nick: 9
Believe the hype. So many different routes to victory and a high level of interaction as you jostle for the same actions and are forced to use other player's buildings. Also plays very well with only 2.

Gregor: 9

David: 9
I love this game! There is so much going on, so many options to choose from and so many different ways to win...all that and it looks good too!
The first time i played it i had no idea what was happening, but that's not an uncommon complaint!

Julia: 9

Stuart: 7
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4. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:341]
Michael R
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Leeds
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Rank: 4
Average Rating: 8.75

Michael: 9
Very impressed after my first play. It was quick moving and dynamic. Encouraged aggretion and the z-axis navigation stops anywhere being a safe haven.

David: 8.5
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5. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:185]
Michael R
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Rank: 5
Average Rating: 8.67

Michael: 10
A four-five hour game that feels like a one and a half hour game it is so constantly exciting. The desicions are really tough. You do feel like a cold-blooded manipulating politician grabbing votes without believing in any of your policies. It's great to see people smearing their opponents, playing the media and forcing empty coalitions against their opponents wills. Brilliant game.

Ian: 10
Quite Simply The Most Fun One Could Ever Have Playing Board Games. An utterly absorbing game, with little downtime and thrilling finale.

Nick: 8.5
Mechanistically great game but for some reason just does not really grab me 100%. Need to play again though.

Julia: 8.5

Ivan: 8
An excellent way to spend 4 hours or so.

Gregor: 7
I'm yet to be conviced of this one's greatness. I like it lot but in the game we played I really wasn't sure of the rules. Would definately have no hesitation in playing again.
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6. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:28]
Michael R
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Leeds
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Rank: 6
Average Rating: 8.66

Ivan: 9
My opinion of Funkenschlag improves with each play. It is a game that rewards intelligent play and careful planning.

Nick: 9

Gregor: 9
My current 'game of the moment'. A fantastic experience that really racks up the tension as you approach the end game. There can be a slight element of being in the right place at the right time but the balanced power plants and the 'beat down on the leader' aspect of the game never let this become a runaway problem.

Ian: 8.6
I Rarely feel compelled to pull this brute out but when I do, I am utterly absorbed for the entire duration.

Stuart: 8.5

Michael: 8
The turn by turn varying player order is such an elegant way to give advantages to the players that drop behind. Games are close run and tense throughout and you always have to work out the best way to spend your money.
Update: This one is going down to an 8. Mainly due to the last couple of turns so often overriding what happened earlier in the game. You don't want to be in the lead in the last turn of this game.

Callum: 8
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7. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:595]
Michael R
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Rank: 7
Average Rating: 8.62

Michael: 9
Very good war game of expanding and declining civilisations. All about judging when to jump ship.

Ivan: 9
A really enjoyable civ light. One of the best games of this genre.

Gregor: 9
Superb game! I love the declining civilisations/start again mechanic. Like others have said it's all about the timing!

Nick: 7.5
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8. Board Game: Torres [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:401]
Michael R
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Leeds
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Rank: 8
Average Rating: 8.60

Ivan: 10
For me this is the perfect game. Few games are as elegant or as subtle as this, the mechanics gelling perfectly to provide a heavenly gaming experience all packed into one hour. Delightful.

Michael: 9
Another wonderful action point game. Plays quickly and has lots of interaction with everybody jumping on everybody else's towers.

David: 9

Julia: 8

Gregor: 7
Seems good. I think a couple of us didn't quite quite get all the rules, which affected how the game went but would definately play again.
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9. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:414]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 9
Average Rating: 8.50

Michael: 9
"Oh s**t, I should have kept Frodo with Sam...uh, no no, I mean I should have left Pippin with Legolas...right right, that's what I was thinking... phew."

Gregor: 9
Another recent discovery. Plenty of room for schemeing and mindgames. an absolute gem.

Nick: 8.5
Sweet mind game for two. If both players get into it there can be a really tense game of guessing and second guessing.

Julia: 7.5
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10. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Michael R
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Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 10
Average Rating: 8.50

Michael: 10
Collect equal numbers of blocks of each color. Appeals to my obsessive side.

Ivan: 9
I disliked this on the first few plays because I didn't 'get' it. Now its one of my favourites - with the right players.

Ian: 9
From being a game I simply could not get my head round, T&E has become the game I play most. Perhaps the best game Knizia has produced, it has all the elements that make such a game utterly absorbing and it plays great with 2, 3 or 4.

Julia: 7.5

Scott: 7
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11. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 11
Average Rating: 8.50

Michael: 9
Only one play. Very similar to Age of Steam. There are far more cities so there is not the cut-throat competition of AoS. The money also seems more consitent than in AoS where money is desperately short at the beginning and less important at the end. The board and components are beautiful. They are too similar for me to want to own both though.

Gregor: 8
Very good railway building game that's also pleasing on the eye. Detractors comment on how it's not as good age of steam (dunno, never played AOS)but that doesn't negate how good this is.
 
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12. Board Game: La Città [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:554]
Michael R
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Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 12
Average Rating: 8.45

Michael: 9
I love the feel of this city building game. It is like playing a computer strategy game. The theme is thick and creamy. The only down side is that sadly there is a run away leader problem.

Ian: 7.9
Very Very Good City Development Game, Played It Just The Once But Loved Every Aspect!
 
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13. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Michael R
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Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 13
Average Rating: 8.42

Michael: 9
Unlike some, I think the player interaction is excellent in this game. You have not only the player-chosen auction items but also the limiting numbers of each item to consider.

Ivan: 9
A lovely elegant game and slightly better than Puerto Rico IMHO.

Nick: 9
The need to plan a round or two ahead makes this an enjoyable mental challenge. And the auction round is always interesting as you hope to get the one thing you want at a knock down price.

Gregor: 8
Good game. Gameplay is tight and tense. Refreshing compared to a lot of the newer euros.

David: 8

Stuart: 7.5
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14. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 14
Average Rating: 8.38

Julia: 9.5

Ian: 9.4
This is a truly fabulous gaming experience and certainly the best two player game I have yet to encounter. No down time, tremendous tension and almost endless variation - its an absolute belter

Michael: 8
It was what I was hoping for. My expectations had been lowered by playing 1960 first, which I didn't like. This was tense. The theme was captured well. The gameplay is all mind games and trying to sneak unnoticed past your ooponent.

Nick: 8
A wonderful intertwining of theme and mechanic but luck can play a frustrating role.

Scott: 7
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15. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:577]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 15
Average Rating: 8.33

David: 10

Ivan: 9
The best racing game available. A wealth of tracks and options you can incorporate as you wish. Luck does play a part, but I have found that good players win more consistently than bad ones.

Michael: 6
It is good for what it is but what it is a roll and move race game. It does have some choices to make in changing the gears and how to survive when you overshoot a corner. It does just take too long for my liking.
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16. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:114]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 16
Average Rating: 8.30

Michael: 9

Nick: 9
A simple rule-set which results in complex situations. Also very interactive with an agonising bidding round and a dependence on what the players before you do. If only I could get a copy!

Ian: 8.5
Terrific Game, little too much downtime for my liking but a marvelous challenge nonetheless.

Julia: 8

Ivan: 7
This is a tough game to play well but it's enjoyable when I'm in the mood for something heavy.
 
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17. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Michael R
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Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 17
Average Rating: 8.30

Nick: 9.5
One of my first Euros and still one of my favourites. Many different possibly strategies and the hidden VPs keep it tense.

Gregor: 9
Everything about this game just clicks for me! There just so many paths to victory. Fantastic gaming experience.

Ian: 8.9
It's not the best game on the planet, its the 6th best game on the planet.

John: 8.8

Michael: 8
Maybe it deserves a higher rating but I just never win and once per game my brain just gets stuck in an infinite loop because the overabundance of possibilities.

Ivan: 8
Good game with plenty of options allowing a multitude of different winning strategies.

Julia: 8

Stuart: 7.5

David: 7
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18. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:215]
Michael R
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Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 18
Average Rating: 8.30

Michael: 10
Both an impressive multiplayer wargame and an impressive adaptation of the book. Pity it doesn't quite work as well with less than six. People seem to make overpowered alliances with less players.

Ian: 8.2
It's perhaps a little long and a little convoluted but they are small fees to pay for such an absorbing experience.

Nick: 8
The perfect marriage of theme and game. The map, the factions, the combat system... All makes sense in the Dune world. A enjoyable, if long, game of alliances and confrontation.

Gregor: 7
Really good game brought low by crap production (we played the french one. Love the way traitors can neutralize armies, love the scheming and the changing alliances. If you get stuffed early on it can be hard to recover though.
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19. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:257]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 19
Average Rating: 8.23

Michael: 9
This version is very nice. Bigger cards and tiles with more detailed artwork and an expanded set of character options and additional cards. I will have to consider getting this. The game itself is wonderful.

Scott: 8

Ian: 7.7
Terrific Two Player Game, what more needs to be said
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20. Board Game: Mü & More [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:824]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 20
Average Rating: 8.22

Michael: 9
Wonderful trick taking game of shifting partnerships. Each hand the players split into two teams based on an auction and the auction winner's team must try to score a target number of points. It is complex but after a couple of hands you know what you are doing. Of the other games that come in the box, I have played a lot of Wimmuln. It is a much shorter but also great tricktaking game. You secretly bid a number of tricks you think you will win using cards from your hand. Rummu is a fairly bland rummy game. The Last Panther was a fun simple trick taker. Safaru is a game that requires vast brain melting amounts of mental arithmetic but seemed to have fairly obvious choices. (Mu - 9, Wimmuln - 8, Rummu - 5, The Last Panther - 6, Safaru - 5)

Ivan: 9
One of the truely great partner games. I think few games will ever provide me with so much gaming pleasure for my Pound. No gaming collection should be without Mu. Forget the Mehr, you'll never play any of them .

Ian: 8.1
Solo for Mad People - Fabulous Whist Derivative with Multiple Trumps and Enforced Team Play.

Julia: 8

Gregor: 7
Fanatstic and frustrating in equal measure.
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21. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 21
Average Rating: 8.17

Michael: 10
Pure set collection auction greatness. As I play more my expectation of what the best I can get for a given price goes up. This means I end up not using all my suns and losing. I like the theme, multiple paths to victory and unpredictability of the draw.

Nick: 9
Such a simple yet subtly sophisticated bidding game.

Gregor: 9
The daddy of all bidding games. Exciting, packed with tension and multiple paths to victory.

John: 7.5
Only played the AI version - love the game but will have to wait and see how it plays against people - I think it will be much better

Ian: 7.4
My least favourite of all the knizia bidding games, it is certainly elegant but I find it a little frustrating at times, you can certainly feel as if you have little control.

Ivan: 7
Enjoyable auction game but seems more heavy and less intuitive than Modern Art.

Julia: 7
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22. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 22
Average Rating: 8.10

Gregor: 10
The Puerto Rico of war games. Fast, frantic and easy to play. Far better than Battlelore

Michael: 8
The way the cards limit your tactical choices makes your choices much more difficult and more interesting. The ruleset is very simple and fun. It is great to set up and play a wargame in less than half an hour.

Ivan: 8
Wow, a war game that I enjoy. The mechanics really work and the whole experience is very enjoyable.

David: 8

Nick: 6.5
Don't be blinded by the plastic. Looks like a hex/tabletop wargame but is hobbled by some rather odd rules, such as being restricted in which part of the board your units can be activated. Is quick and simple though.
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23. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:179]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 23
Average Rating: 8.07

Nick: 8.8
Lost Cities Advanced. Agonising decisions every turn as you wish you could pick up one more card before deciding which one to play. You always need to keep a close eye on what is already on the table to determine if the run one if you is trying for is likely, or even possible.

Michael: 8
I am used to playing Schotten Totten. It is a great game. It is a simple game of trying to make poker combinations to beat your opponents combinations. The tactics deck that lets you break the rules makes the game shine. Nice to have the effects of the strategy cards written on them. I probably have a slight preference for the German version's art.

Ian: 7.4
 
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24. Board Game: Junta [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:949]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 24
Average Rating: 8.02

Julia: 9.5

Ian: 9.1
A remarkable game, one which provided more laughs and antagonism than any I have encountered, one minute you wanted to kill your opponent, next minute you were plotting with them to destroy another. The game swings rapidly, alliances are forged and broken each minute and it feels not only like a game of every man for himself but interestingly a game where every man has the power to completely manipulate proceedings - an absolute blast with the right players.

Nick: 8.5
98% chat and negotiation, 2% game. With the right bunch of people this is a wonderful and hilarious way to spend an afternoon of bullying and backstabbing!

Michael: 7
A game that produce some very memorable moments of screwage. It is a bit too long and chaotic for me to want to play more than an occassional game.

Gregor: 6
I think this a provisional rating because I expect this game will differ greatly on how it's played. The game I played was quite flat with minimal wheeler dealing. However by all accounts the previous game my group had was full of schemeing and backstabbing and was a riot.
The only thing I didn't like about the game was the rolling straight sixes to hit in the coup phase. Just a personal bugbear of mine.
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25. Board Game: Roma [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:856] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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Rank: 25
Average Rating: 8.00

Michael: 8
Great little two player dice game. Combines the gameplay of Euros, AT and CCGs. Puts a big smile on my face.

Gregor: 8
Very good two player. Playing with the Moir/Richardson 'cheat like mad' variant increases the fun.
 
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